Employment Law for Employees

Employment Law for Employees

Harassment - Discrimination - Retaliation

Working people often spend more time at work than they do at home with their families or involved in personal activities. There is no reason that workers should have to put up with harassment or discrimination or retaliation by their employer, management, co-workers or anyone else. Yet many do put up with such behavior because they fear that they will be fired, demoted, denied promotions or raises, or job other benefits if they complain.

If you have experienced any of these adverse changes in your job, you may have valuable rights in need of aggressive, skilled and experienced legal representation to recover your job, the wages or salary you were wrongfully deprived of and other benefits of employment.

Contact my office
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Wage and Hour Claims

Wage and Hour claims arise if you were not properly paid for hours worked, overtime, premium time or split shifts or not provided with proper meal periods or rest periods, or were not given a proper wage statement. In some cases, you may be entitled to compensation for hours during which you were simply “on-call.” California has very strong laws protecting an employee’s right to full and proper compensation for hours worked.

We analyze your pay history and work hours. If your employer has violated the wage and hour laws, you may be entitled to additional compensation and penalties for each violation. In addition, if legal action is brought to recover the compensation owed and the penalties, and you receive an award or verdict, you may also be entitled to recover the reasonable attorney fees for my services from the employer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Harassment - Discrimination - Retaliation

Harassment has been defined as: When an employer, co-worker or other person engages in unwelcome conduct, such as slurs, unwanted touching or advances, or intimidation that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. Harassment becomes unlawful where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.

What a judge or jury will view as harassment will depend on the particular facts of any claim.

After the first 30 days, you have the right to select a different doctor from the MPN to continue treating you. We are familiar with many of the doctors in the insurance carriers’ MPNs. We can help you make a good choice if you are not satisfied with the treatment you have been receiving.

Discrimination takes many different forms.

"Disparate Treatment" discrimination occurs when an employer’s actions, such as promotion, demotion, termination, single out an employee because he or she has a protected characteristic, e.g. only workers over 40 are laid off or only women are promoted.

"Disparate Impact" discrimination occurs when the employer’s policies have a greater negative effect on employees with a particular protected characteristic than other employees even though the policy itself appears neutral. For example, even though height and weight restrictions for a job appear facially neutral, such restrictions may have the effect of creating a disparate impact on the basis of national origin which is a protected characteristic.

The simple definition of retaliation is an adverse (negative) action by the employer in reaction to “protected activity” by the employee. A simple example is: (1) Your employer tells you to file a false claim with his insurance company for losses due to theft or shoplifting. You object and the employer demotes or fires you. Your “protected activity” was objecting to being directed to commit insurance fraud. The employer’s conduct was retaliation.

A good first step if you are experiencing harassing, discriminatory or retaliatory conduct at work is to consult with an experienced employment lawyer. You can always contact my office for a free consultation.

Our initial consultation will gather the facts of your situation and guide you through the steps you can take to protect yourself from illegal harassment, discrimination or retaliation and explain your rights and what legal actions you may have available.

Most attorneys handling these cases, including my office, have free consultations. If we accept your case, we take it on a ‘contingent’ fee basis which means that you do not pay unless you receive money from a settlement, award or verdict. Typically, we also pay all of the costs of the case which will be repaid out of the settlement, award or verdict money. In some cases, your employer may be required to pay the costs of your lawsuit including a reasonable attorney’s fee.

Wage and Hour Claims

That is not a problem. Employers are required to keep accurate and detailed records of each employee’s hours worked, the rate of pay, amounts withheld for state and federal taxes. The law allows employees, or their representatives or lawyers, to demand that the employer permit them to inspect and copy most personnel records and virtually all of your payroll records.

No. California law has strict requirements about paycheck stubs, also called wage statements, and the information they must show. The California Labor Code allows an employee to recover specific penalties for each violation of the check stub or wage statement laws.

The law allows you to go back up to three years to recover unpaid wages and penalties for the violations of wage and hour laws. Such violations may include not having required meal or rest periods; or, being required to work or be available to work during your meal period; or not being fully compensated for overtime hours.

Almost all workers in California are employees not Independent Contractors. Employees should receive a Form W-2 by the end of January each year for the previous year. A Form 1099 is issued for Non-Employee Compensation. The wage and hour laws are complicated and confusing. If you have questions about whether you were or are being paid properly, contact our office for a free consultation.

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Richard Laden, Los Angeles Attorney